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U.S. unemployment rate SAME in October: 9.6%

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its October 2010 statistics today. Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 151,000 during the month, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.6%. Nonfarm payroll employment has INCREASED by 874,000 since December 2009.

The number of unemployed people changed little in October and was at 14.8 million. The unemployment rate of 9.6% has been essentially unchanged since May.

The report has the following information about major groups of workers:

“Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult men (9.7 percent), adult women (8.1 percent), teenagers (27.1 percent), whites (8.8 percent), blacks (15.7 percent), and Hispanics (12.6 percent) showed little change in October. The jobless rate for Asians was 7.1 percent, not seasonally adjusted.”

Numbers of long-term unemployed (27 weeks or longer) was unchanged at 6.2 million during the month. Long-term unemployed people accounted for 41.8% of ALL unemployed persons in October.

The number of persons who were employed part-time for economic reasons (so-called “involuntary part-time workers”) fell by 318,000 over the month, to 9.2 million. These people worked part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

The report also discussed persons “marginally attached to the labor force,” as follows:

“About 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in October, up from 2.4 million a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.”

“Among the marginally attached, there were 1.2 million discouraged workers in October, an increase of 411,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.4 million persons marginally attached to the labor force had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.”

The report also discussed employment in various types of jobs:

“Within professional and business services, employment in temporary help services continued to increase in October, with a gain of 35,000. Temporary help services has added 451,000 jobs since a recent low in September 2009. Employment in computer systems design and related services increased by 8,000 in October and has risen by 53,000 since a recent low in June 2009.

Health care continued to add jobs in October (+24,000). The gain was in line with the average increase over the prior 12 months (+20,000).

Retail trade employment rose by 28,000 in October, including increases in automobile dealers (+6,000) and in electronics and appliance stores (+5,000). After reaching a trough in December 2009, employment in retail trade has expanded by 128,000.

Within leisure and hospitality, a job loss in arts, entertainment, and recreation (-26,000) in October offset a gain in food services and drinking places employment (+24,000). The food services industry has added 143,000 jobs since a recent low in December 2009.

Mining employment continued to trend up (+8,000) over the month. Since a recent low in October 2009, mining has added 88,000 jobs.

Employment in manufacturing changed little in October (-7,000) and, on net, has essentially been flat since May. The industry had added 134,000 jobs during the first 5 months of this year.

Elsewhere in the private sector, employment in construction, wholesale trade, transportation, information, and financial activities showed little change in October.

Government employment overall was little changed in October. Employment in local government, excluding education, decreased by 14,000 over the month and has fallen by 123,000 over the past 12 months. The number of temporary decennial census workers fell by 5,000 in October. After peaking at 564,000 in May, there were only about 1,000 temporary decennial census workers remaining on Federal payrolls in October.”

The August total nonfarm payroll employment was revised from -57,000 to -1,000, and the change for September, from -95,000 to -41,000.

-Bill at

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